The Dynamical Implications of Multiple Stellar Formation Events in Galactic Globular Clusters Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Various galactic globular clusters display abundance anomalies that affect the morphology of their colour-magnitude diagrams. In this paper we consider the possibility of helium enhancement in the anomalous horizontal branch of NGC 2808. We examine the dynamics of a self-enrichment scenario in which an initial generation of stars with a top-heavy initial mass function enriches the interstellar medium with helium via the low-velocity ejecta of its asymptotic giant branch stars. This enriched medium then produces a second generation of stars which are themselves helium-enriched. We use a direct N-body approach to perform five simulations and conclude that such two-generation clusters are both possible and would not differ significantly from their single-generation counterparts on the basis of dynamics. We find, however, that the stellar populations of such clusters would differ from single-generation clusters with a standard initial mass function and in particular would be enhanced in white dwarf stars. We conclude, at least from the standpoint of dynamics, that two-generation globular clusters are feasible.

publication date

  • June 10, 2007